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Wake Me When It's Over
2006-10-24 21:37
by Mike Carminati

Yawn, so that's all we get for a World Series game? Two interesting plays?

First, Albert Pujols pulls a Roy Hobbs and goes after a pitch a half-foot off the plate—or "platter" as the puckishly annoying Tim McCarver jovially referred to home when Pujols is batting—and drives in a couple of runs.

Next, Joel Zumaya, on another Pujols-batted ball, turns an easy 1-4-3 double play into a an E-1 with two runs allowed on an ill-advised throw to third in an inexplicably bad defensive play. The ever-quotable McCarver kept harping on the difficulty of a 1-5-3 double play when clearly Zumaya was just going for the lead runner. Either he lost count of the outs or he thought that trading a two-out, man on third situation for a one out, men at first at second was a good deal. Or he just reacted. Or maybe he's justy a fallible rookie. Maybe they should stop talking about Jim Leyland's cleats and his friendship with Tony LaRussa, and ask why his pitcher doesn't know what base to throw to on a pretty basic play in a huge game.

Whatever the reason, it was a most egregious play.

OK, those were pretty interesting, but when the lead sports story on local New York news is the Yankee Santa Claus airplane ornament controversy, you know it was a slow game. As for Santa-gate, it's another non-story. The Yankees are trying to merchandise like crazy to defray the costs of their elephantine payroll. No one intentionally tried to disrespect Corey Lidle, the Yankee pitcher who was recently killed in a plane crash in Manhattan. I'm sure they planned the Christmas crapfest months ago. Besides, what are airplanes now taboo because of Corey Lidle?

So TV ratings are at an all-time low. We have the 13th best team in baseball (by regular-season record) leading the AL wild card two games to one…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

2006-10-24 21:56:53
1.   Xeifrank
TV ratings are down because no New York (thank god), no eastern seaboard (thank thank god), Chicago or Los Angeles team is in the World Series (think big markets). The playoffs are a crapshoot, the journey is just getting there. The Tigers won 95 games. The Cardinals had a large lead until the injury bug hit them. They made the playoffs! That's all that counts. Don't like the current playoff system? So be it. vr, Xei
2006-10-25 04:11:56
2.   Shaun P
"Maybe they should stop talking about Jim Leyland's cleats and his friendship with Tony LaRussa, and ask why his pitcher doesn't know what base to throw to on a pretty basic play in a huge game."

But that would require . . . actual analysis! I'm pretty sure none of the FOX people can do that.

1 Maybe the ratings are down because FOX ruins the presentation of the Series by having crappy announcers, focuses more on cheesy graphics and sound effects than the actual game, and so has turned off the core demographic, hardcore baseball fans?

2006-10-25 05:39:00
3.   mehmattski
I have to agree with both 1 and 2 in part. Even if fans in St. Louis and Detroit care passionately about their teams, there just aren't as many people living in those metropolitan areas to compete with World Series that feature teams from NY, Boston, Chicago, LA, or the Bay Area. What gets me is columnists bodly declaring "well, no one cares about this WS outside of [two cities represented]." Face it, there aren't enough displaced fans of teams other than the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox to keep ratings up when the series doesn't feature those teams. League attendence and merchandaise sales were both at all time highs- measuring the popularity of the game by the ratings of the championship isn't indicative of anything.

But I am watching, although not carefully. When I was a kid, I don't remember watching the World Series in 1995 or 1997, when my team wasn't in it. But as I got older, I watched 2002, 2004, and 2005 because I'm a fan of baseball. There are plenty of fans of teams, but there aren't as many people who will just watch a baseball game because it's on. Anyway, I also agree with Shaun because as a hardcore baseball fan, I've been driven away by the Tommy Lasorda bits, the innanity of Tim McCarver, and the fact that the game starts 23 minutes into the broadcast. That, and the Chevy commercials that make a mockery of patriotism.

2006-10-25 08:23:48
4.   Ruben F Pineda
I sincerely doubt people are turning off the game because of "that streaky thingy on the ball on the replay" or things like that. Especially the hardcore fans, they are the ones that are going to be there as long as the WS is on.

The ratings are low because... there is more on TV, some people need storylines as a side dish to their world series (more so than a chain smoking manager) and other small reasons. Ive never heard anyone say "Did I watch the World Series last night? Hell No! Tim McCarver was doing the play-by-play!"

2006-10-25 09:28:40
5.   Murray
Re: the ornament controversy? As I understand it, the Yankees' trademarks and logos--like those of all other clubs--are assigned to MLB Properties for licensing purposes, and all clubs split thsi revenue evenly. The Yankees don't get to negotiate special deals on licensing their logo out to third parties like the Danbury Mint to make little airplanes; MLB Properties negotiates those licenses. So MLB Properties is the one trying to exploit the Yankees' popularity to increase the amount of revenue that all clubs get to split from licensing royalties.

What I'm trying to say is: it's Bud Selig's fault.

2006-10-25 11:21:19
6.   rbj
5 It's A-Rod's fault.

I watch parts of the game, but not the whole thing. Partly this is due to the announcers but also because the games start so freaking late. Sure if the Yankees were in it I'd deal with the lack of sleep, but I'm not going to stay up late simply because Fox has to add half an hour of crap to start the game.

And I caught the intro to MNF for the first time in many a year; since when has ABC/ESPN decided to Foxify MNF? Why was Hank Jr. singing on the field and why do they need a bit of fireworks.

Cut the crap and play the games.

2006-10-25 13:28:43
7.   Schteeve
4 Thank you for being the only sane person on earth apparently.

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